Brother and sister team Midnight and Aurora Pendragon have a successful airship business taking clients on trips to be photographed with their pet pterodactyl. The last thing they expect is to have one such trip hijacked by the dashing adventurer Voltaire Crevin and his right-hand man Trevilian Hawke.
While his sister and Voltaire repeatedly lock horns, Midnight finds himself increasingly drawn to Trevilian. Finally, Voltaire explains they are trying to prevent a weapon of mass destruction from falling into the hands of a ruthless, secret organization, the S.O.R.
With Midnight's help, they take the airship down into an extinct volcano to find that not only does Atlantis still exist, but the weapon is in the hands of the few remaining Atlanteans. But if Voltaire had believed the S.O.R. were ruthless, it's nothing compared to that of the Atlanteans who seek to return to the surface and rule the world using their ultimate weapon: The Leviathan.
Midnight's feelings for Trevilian deepen as they seek a way to stop the Atlanteans and escape from Atlantis. Danger comes in many ways and takes many forms, each more deadly than the last. Can Midnight and Trevilian survive long enough to know whether love never dies?
It seemed to him that whatever Voltaire had in mind was upsetting Tresilian. Although, I could be completely wrong. But the reason for their disagreement became apparent to Midnight as the coast of Italy approached. Instead of continuing to the mainland, Voltaire indicated the remains of a long-since dormant volcano.
"We need to go down into the volcano." Voltaire drew out a pistol and aimed it at Midnight's back. "I'm sorry, Midnight, but we must. Keep your hands on the wheel until we're over the crater. It's big enough, we can descend safely."
With Voltaire close behind him, and the pistol aimed at his back, it was impossible for Midnight to do anything that might help his sister who was looking at him with an expression of pure horror. Instead he kept his hands on the wheel as ordered, and his attention on Aurora.
"What are you doing?" Aurora's rage was almost palpable, even at distance and even Midnight winced. "We can't fly The Freedom into a volcano. Extinct or otherwise. She won't fit."
"Your ship will be fine. Trust me."
Despite everything, Midnight felt reassured by Voltaire's calm and soothing tone which was the opposite of Aurora's. Seems hardly possible that a man who sounds so composed and reassuring would have a pistol directed at me.
With a slight turn of his head, Midnight glanced at Tresilian. The other man's expression was creased into concern, but Midnight also noticed the way he had a white-knuckle grip of the rail.
"Trust? You?" Aurora's voice had crept up in pitch as well as in volume, and this time, Midnight even cringed. "You hold my brother at gunpoint. In an act of piracy, you attempt to take control of my vessel. There is no question of trust, sir."
"Madam." Voltaire's voice deepened in timbre, but nothing more. "This ship remains yours; I assure you. As to my reasons for this ... let me ask this of you. Are you loyal to Queen Victoria?"
"What? Of course I am." Aurora stood with her hands on her hips and glowered at Voltaire. "What has that got to do with anything?"
"I am in pursuit of a man who, like me, believes he has found the location of the Magnus Opus. It's a weapon. One which, in the wrong hands, not only places the British Empire at risk, but imperils the world itself. I believe it was the cause of the destruction of the city of Atlantis. We must find it first. My vessel wasn't merely damaged, it was deliberately sabotaged and Tresilian and I barely escaped with our lives. I've paced out the dimensions of your ship. I believe she's several feet smaller than mine all around, so there's no danger."
"Paced the ship." Aurora looked heavenward. "No danger."
"We must try. We have no choice. Humanity itself is at risk." Voltaire sounded so impassioned that Midnight couldn't help but be certain that it wasn't an act.
For a moment, Midnight closed his eyes. Setting aside the pistol in Voltaire's hand, he focused on what both Voltaire and Tresilian had said since coming aboard, and how they felt to him. There had been no mistaking the look of anguish on Tresilian's face when Voltaire had pulled out the pistol. His mind set; Midnight took a deep breath. She's not going to like this.
"Aurora. I believe him." Midnight called out.
"What?" Although Midnight couldn't see him, Voltaire had spoken in unison with his sister and even Tresilian looked shocked as he stared at him. Midnight nodded.
"I believe him."
"You really want to try and fly this ship into the crater of a volcano? On his say so." Aurora asked, and Midnight was certain she'd spoken each word through gritted teeth.
"All I have to do is level out the ship over the crater and reduce the volume of inertium into the balloons. We'll sink slowly, and in a controlled manner. We can keep a check on the hull, make sure it's not getting too close to the rock. I can always re-inflate and take us back up."
"Mad." Aurora threw up her hands. "You're all bloody mad. I'll have no part in this." She stomped away and sat down, her back ramrod straight, and purposely looked away from them.